Gray screen of death RAM upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Doodlebox, May 3, 2011.

  1. Doodlebox macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2009
    I've got an early 2009 Mac Mini, and about during Christmas I got 6 GBs of DDR3 RAM from OWC to upgrade it with. It was okay for about a month, then it started giving me the gray screen of death just while I was using the Mini (not during startup, or shutdown).
    If I try to restart it immediately, it either gives me three beeps continuously or it plays the startup noise over and over. While using Windows during bootcamp it gives me the blue screen. I need to wait about ten minutes or so before I can turn it on again. I keep using the Mini thinking its a one-time thing, but then it keeps happening, even more frequently.
    I thought, well, my Mac CAN support up to 8 GBs, so maybe the RAM is just defective. I send it back to OWC and get the new memory back. I install that memory, and then after a month, sure enough it gives me the gray screen.
    I then think that maybe the RAM are in the wrong banks, so I switch the 2 GB's and 4 GB's places. And now it's fine for a couple weeks, then just today it gave me the gray screen.
    What's the problem here? Can my computer not handle 6 GBs? Is there a solution?
  2. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    The mini I am pretty sure requires matched pairs of memory not to the same extent as a mac pro but it is recommended. The three beeps tells you everything you need to know, the beeps mean no good ram banks found. I would remove one ram module or put in matched pairs of either 2 2GB or 2 4GB and if that fixes your problem you are good to go. You can also just try 1 4GB or 2 GB module and if your computer works then the problem is your RAM is not in matched pairs.

  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    most likely you got bad ram.

    if you have the oem 1 gb sticks put them in and if the machine works the ram is bad.

    hopefully it is not the ram slots or the logic board. you may also have software that does not like owc ram. yeah sounds crazy , but been there done that.
  4. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2005
    try booting with 1 stick of the new ram, if no problems swap with the other stick and see if you can get it to fail.

    If neither stick allows the machine to boot, either both sticks are bad or simply not compatible with your machine.

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